Business Travel Show Europe Kick Off, 23 February,
Global Travel Risk Summit Europe, May 2023,
3rd Annual Sustainable Business Travel Summit
COMMENT: Farnborough Air ShowTwo years ago people wondered if the 2004 SBAC air show at Farnborough would be the last, the final encore for a tradition that started at Radlett in 1946.
The pessimists have been proved wrong. Now under a new management company, but still owned by the British aerospace industry, Farnborough International Ltd is back stronger than ever, its future assured, planning even going as far ahead as 2012. A record number of 1,480 exhibitors from 35 countries are attending this week, including 129 new exhibitors making their first appearance. On the commercial aerospace and supply-chain side, UK Trade & Investment has arranged for 40 company delegations from 15 countries to attend the air show for an intensive three-days of specific briefing meetings with British companies seeking to do business with their overseas counterparts. The Defence Export Services Organisation (DESO), which is responsible for the defence delegations attending the air show, reports that there are 77 delegations from 43 countries ” the largest defence delegations presence ever.
The highlight of the show, from a news point of view, will not be an aircraft but the talk about an aircraft. At 1100 on Monday morning Airbus is expected to announce the future of the A330 twin (and for that matter its sister A340), whether it is to be the re-vamped A350, or a complete new aircraft much rumoured to be called the A370. Besides all the technological challenges of putting a new aircraft together,and financial ones too, Airbus is faced with the quandary of just where to pitch the machine in terms of passenger size and configuration. Range is no longer a problem. Engine reliability has improved so much over the last decade that 20-hour flights can be takenday in day out with two-engined aircraft offering 180 minutes ETOPS.The difficulty is whether to use the existing A330 fuselage, and here the standard is set by the 24” wider and much liked by passengers Boeing 777, or go for a completely new airframe using advanced construction techniques and composites. How long will it take to develop and how expensive? And what do you do with your production lines in the meantime? Yes you can discount to new and existing clients, there are orders pending for military and possible freight customers, but a new aircraft has got to be four years away at least based on the timescale of the competing Boeing 787. Which brings us onto what undoubtedly will be the star of Farnborough, at least as far as hardware is concerned, the Airbus A380. Its track record to date has been less than perfect and it is at least a year behind schedule. Development and production problems have caused anguish to both Airbusand its customers. Hopefully all will be revealed on Monday morning. We all need a successful Airbus, as consumers flying around the world,and also as airlines. Boeing needs to be kept on its toes too. If life is made too easy Seattle (or is it Chicago?) will quickly regress to its old habits. Competition can only improve the product.
Following last week”s story headed ENVIRONMENT TAX we are indebted to Andrea Thalemann editor-in-chief of EU Intelligence for the following observation of just where we are regarding European Parliament”s vote in favour of an environment tax:
”This is typical Brussels politicking. The EP vote is non-binding and does not involve any actual piece of legislation. Rather it indicates the mood in the ever-more assertive Parliament as the European Commission prepares legislation on including aviation in the EU”s emission trading scheme ” a move which BA strongly supports and Lufthansa resolutely rejects.
None of what the MEP”s have suggested ” fuel tax/VAT and separate emission trading scheme for aviation - has much of a chance to see the light of day. Yes, EU transport commissioner Jacques Barrot was fully in favour of a kerosene tax when he took up his post in November 2004 but within a matter of months, after strong lobbying by the industry, declared that tax dead, and it would take joint agreement among 25 European transport ministers in favour of a fuel tax (very unlikely) to overrule the Commission”s position at this stage.
As was said in ABTN: ”What is not clear is whether it will be implemented, and if so when.” Most likely never. This vote was simply about the Parliament raising the rhetoric because MEPs will have a say on the final legislation on emission trading. And of course,coming to the table with more demands means more bargaining power later on!”
NELSON - Last week we pointed out in ON TOUR that Nelson was all covered up on his column in Trafalgar Square. Now this may have been read by those in charge at the Greater London Authority, but in any event a new clean and tidied up statue has been revealed. Maybe those in change knew that the aviation world was coming this week to London. It was also interesting to learn that the column is somewhat shorter that hitherto noted although why the political head of the organisation was quoted in the press release is beyond ABTN. Ego one suspects, or blatant electioneering. He will never be remembered in 200 years time.In any event getting measurements wrong can cause serious trouble. Nearly 20 years ago when Plymouth Airport was re-built the chief pilot announced that the runway was 1199m in length, as required for BAe 146 operations. And so a news story went out and quoted by all and sundry.Somewhat later the CAA actually measured the concrete. Only 1160m. Oops! No go 146 and no go for Plymouth. Daughter airport London City was built with 1199m in mind.
Also last week we said that Monarch was Britain”s oldest airline flyingunder its original banner. Not so claims Loganair, founded 45 years ago in 1962. And before we have anyone emailing the editor we are able to confirm that it was not started with Islander aircraft. They don”t date back that far the prototype first flying in 1965. However Loganair does have five of the utility aircraft in its fleet.